Kia is celebrating 14 years of operating an apprentice programme.
The manufacturer requires all its dealers to have at least one apprentice, offering nationally recognised qualifications in the following areas: light vehicle technician, service advisor, parts advisor and combined service and parts advisor.
Kia currently has 206 apprentices in its dealer network and says it is an ideal way to ensure that it has future aftersales capacity in place to meet the needs of it rapidly growing customer base.
Once completing their course, apprentices are generally retained as highly skilled and productive team members by their dealerships.
Kia’s most recent internal competition, the Service Skills World Cup saw both its gold and bronze awards won by former Kia apprentices.
Mercedes Lopez holds an apprentice role within her local Kia dealership, RRG Bury.
She is just finishing her first year and has mostly been doing servicing and warranty.
Alongside working in the garage, Lopez attends a college course.
“In terms of my future – I would love to continue working for Kia,” she said.
“I feel like they put a lot into their apprentices, they treat us like family here and there’s such a positive vibe whenever I’m with other apprentices, trainers and people from Kia HQ. It would definitely make sense for me to continue working for Kia with all of the opportunities we’re given – the training programme was recently rated the best in the country and I can see why.”